Putnam, Mar 2005, 24.95
In 1775 a saddened Lord Chief Justice William Murray asks a favor of Sir John Fielding, the magistrate of the Bow St. Court. William explains to John and his clerk Jeremy Proctor how Lord Francis Talley died. The aristocrat was completing work on a bill to blockade the four biggest American ports so the economic consequences will put an end to the Adams' nonsense when he left his office to take a walk. Halfway across the Westminster Bridge he suddenly leaped into the Thames; several witnesses willingly testified to the account of the suicide. William wonders why. John agrees to make discrete inquiries to learn what motivated Francis to kill himself.
John and Jeremy soon learn that Dr. Goldsworthy is a newcomer in town whose patron is the widow of William's clerk. This leads the sleuths to wonder who would gain most by Lord Francis dying and soon realize that no member of the dysfunctional Lammermoor family grieves and some act euphoric celebrating the death of its patriarch Lord Francis.
Though the mystery author Bruce Alexander passed away, John Shannon completed his last Sir John novel and no one will know who wrote which part.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner